Tuesday, January 15, 2013

a diseased heart

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
"I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds."
Jeremiah 17:9-10

There is a natural bent of each human soul on planet earth. It is an inevitable predisposition to selfishly sin. That does not mean that each human is as bad as can possibly be. But it does mean that each human heart makes selfish choices that lead to sinful and painful consequence. Everybody is wounded by their sin. Why is this the case? Because we are born spiritually diseased. We will sin just like we eat and breathe. It is endemic to the human condition.

And I know this not so much from other people as from my own soul. I know the thoughts I have had. I know my own deceit. I know the sin in my heart that has flowed out into my life to hurt me and to hurt others. It is not just that other people are warped by sin and thus society is marred by the contagion of evil on the loose. I am the problem. I am desperately sick with sin. And I cannot really understand a way out of this alone. But there is Someone Who does.

God searches hearts and tests minds. He knows me. And He has provided the way around the destruction of personal depravity. In Christ I am healed. In Christ, my sin is forgiven. In Christ, the truth can change what deceit and selfishness have ruined. Christianity is a matter of the heart that pours out into my actions.

God rewards the fruit of my ways. Whatever has oozed out of my diseased heart will be burned away in judgment. And the good works that have come from the power of Christ alive in me will be blessed. What flows from the heart committed to Jesus will change me and my world.

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